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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-18

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] US warns Ecevit
  • [02] Congressmen ask US government help end Turkish occupation
  • [03] Central Bank reduces debit interest rates
  • [04] President Clerides meets WEU Secretary-General
  • [05] Relatives of missing appeal to big "5"
  • [06] Clerides receives US State Department officials
  • [07] House President meets British High Commissioner
  • [08] Russian official says compromise is key to Cyprus solution
  • [09] Euro Socialist leader slams Turkey

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US warns Ecevit

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Jul 18 (CNA) -- The US has warned Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to be positive and constructive with regard to the Cyprus question.

    The warning came from State Department spokesman, Nicholas Burns, responding to a question regarding Ecevit's upcoming visit to the Turkish- occupied areas of Cyprus to attend events marking the 23rd Turkish invasion of Cyprus (July 20, 1974).

    Burns told his press briefing Thursday the US was aware of press reports that the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey is planning to head a delegation to the occupied part of Cyprus.

    Noting that the situation in Cyprus this summer is "calm" in contrast to last summer, he said "there are positive signs that come out of last week's talks in Troutbeck."

    "So we think the trends in Cyprus are positive and we very much hope that Deputy Prime Minister Ecevit will use his visit to help further this constructive, positive trend on Cyprus," he added.

    Asked if the US approves the visit, Burns said "I did not say we approved of the visit. I have taken note of press reports that he will be visiting and I am simply suggesting that his visit be constructive and positive."

    The State Department spokesman pointed out if the Cyprus problem is going to be resolved as a very serious issue in the Eastern Mediterranean, it will take Turks and Greeks, Greek and Turkish Cypriots to resolve it, and called on Ecevit "to carry out, to acquit himself in that spirit in a positive constructive spirit."

    Asked to comment on Ecevit's provocative statements on Cyprus, Burns said "perhaps that is why we're calling upon him to be positive and constructive."

    Ecevit was Prime Minister when Turkey launched its invasion campaign against Cyprus in July 1974. Turkish troops still occupy 37 per cent of Cyprus territory, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    The Turkish politician has repeatedly threatened that Turkey would annex the breakaway state in the Turkish-occupied areas if the European Union (EU) starts accession talks with Cyprus before it starts talks with Turkey.

    The European Commission presented its "Agenda 2000" report to the European Parliament on July 15, providing for the start of membership talks with six countries, including Cyprus, to be involved in the next EU enlargement.

    Asked to comment on Ecevit's visit to the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said yesterday "it is common for the criminal to return to the scene of the crime."

    Meanwhile, it has been reported that six Turkish navy vessels will visit the occupied areas this week on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    The ships are expected to illegally dock today at the occupied Kyrenia harbour, where they will remain for two days.

    Only Turkey recognises the puppet regime. The UN has branded it "legally invalid" and called on all states "not to recognise" it and "not facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity."

    CNA DA/AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    0945:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Congressmen ask US government help end Turkish occupation

    Washington, Jul 18 (CNA) -- US Congressmen have called on their administration to step up efforts for a Cyprus solution and push Turkey to stop the occupation of Cyprus' northern part.

    During a Special Order in the US House of Representatives, organised by Congressman Michael Bilirakis, on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the occupation of 37 per cent of its territory, many Congressmen took the floor, stressing the need to put an end to this.

    They called on the US administration to step up its efforts towards a Cyprus settlement and push Turkey to stop the occupation of Cyprus.

    In addition, the Congressmen called for a halt to the US aid to Turkey if it does not withdraw its occupation forces from this eastern Mediterranean island.

    They said Cyprus should be unified again and that it is a shame for Nicosia to be the only divided capital in the world today.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA DA/AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1000:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Central Bank reduces debit interest rates

    Nicosia, Jul 18 (CNA) -- The Central Bank of Cyprus today reduced the debit interest rates on advances and loans from 8,5 per cent to 8 per cent.

    Excesses of overdraft limits, credit cards' advances, judgement debts, as well as other specific debts are exempted from the adjustment.

    CNA GG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1115:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] President Clerides meets WEU Secretary-General

    Nicosia, Jul 18 (CNA) -- Western European Union (WEU) Secretary-General, Jose Cutileiro, said here today he was very encouraged about the spirit he found in Cyprus concerning the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Cutileiro, who was speaking after a meeting this morning with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, said "the President very kindly spoke at length" about the current talks to solve the Cyprus problem. He added other matters were discussed as well.

    Asked what possibilities he believes there are, after speaking with the President, of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, Cutileiro said he "was very encouraged about the spirit I found here. No doubt about that".

    Referring to the relations of Cyprus with the WEU, Cutileiro said "the relations with Cyprus will increase in substance as Cyprus progresses into accession negotiations with the European Union".

    He added "as Cyprus accedes to the EU, it will become an observer in the WEU, therefore participating rather fully in our work".

    Cutileiro arrived at the Presidential Palace accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, with whom he had a meeting earlier this morning.

    The WEU arrived in Cyprus yesterday afternoon for talks with Cypriot leaders, at Kasoulides' invitation.

    CNA RG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1210:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Relatives of missing appeal to big "5"

    Nicosia, Jul 18 (CNA) -- The relatives of persons listed as missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus called on the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to take all necessary steps to solve the humanitarian question of the missing persons.

    A delegation of the Pancyprian Committee of Parents and Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons handed today a letter to the ambassadors of the big "5" to Cyprus, asking them to help solve this purely humanitarian issue.

    A relevant memorandum has also been sent to all foreign embassies in Cyprus.

    The letter expresses the belief that their country "can and has a duty to perform a serious role in putting an end at long last to this tragic problem, securing the needed convincing information as to what happened to all the missing," as clearly provided by International Conventions and UN resolutions.

    "We expect that your country at this crucial time when the issue of the missing will be discussed in Cyprus, as it has been agreed during the recent high level meetings in Troutbeck, will exercise its influence and will take any necessary steps so that the withheld information will at least be revealed," the letter says.

    Earlier this week, President Glafcos Clerides revealed upon return from Troutbeck, New York, where he had face-to-face talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash from July 9 to 12, he had suggested to Denktash they hold meetings in Cyprus to discuss humanitarian issues, including the one of missing persons, before the next round of UN-led direct talks.

    A second round of direct negotiations is scheduled to take place near Geneva, between August 11 and 16.

    The letter emphasises the bitterness and the agony of thousands of relatives of missing persons in Cyprus due to the standstill, for 23 years, on this "purely humanitarian problem," noting it "constitutes a flagrant violation of fundamental human rights."

    It notes the non-implementation of UN resolutions on the issue and the lack of progress on the determination of the fate of the missing are "very disappointing and must be a matter of concern to all those who could help and failed to do so."

    A total of 1619 people were listed as missing persons soon after the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern third.

    Meanwhile, in order to denounce the Turkish invasion and occupation of their homeland, relatives of the missing persons staged this morning a sit- in protest outside the US embassy in Nicosia.

    This evening relatives of the missing are to hold a massive gathering at the Ayios Kassianos area, in the eastern part of the divided walled city of Nicosia, along with refugee organisations and veteran soldiers from Greece who defended the island during the invasion.

    A torch procession with 1619 symbolic torches will then make its way to the Ledra Palace UN check-point, where a petition on the missing will be handed to a UN area officer.

    CNA AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1220:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Clerides receives US State Department officials

    Nicosia, Jul 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides received here today a three-member US State Department delegation, headed by State Department official responsible for policy planning Gregory Graig.

    None of the delegation's members made any statements after the half- hour meeting with the Cypriot President.

    The delegation has already visited Ankara and is due to fly on today to Athens for further contacts with Greek Foreign Ministry officials.

    The US officials are then scheduled to fly to Brussels for talks on July 21.

    It was reported that the US officials visit the area to prepare the ground for the forthcoming visit of US Presidential Emissary on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke to European capitals, expected by the end of July, and to the Eastern Mediterranean in autumn.

    CNA MH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1340:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] House President meets British High Commissioner

    Nicosia, Jul 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou received here today Britain's High Commissioner in Nicosia David Madden with whom he discussed the outcome of the UN-led Cyprus talks held last week in Troutbeck, New York.

    Madden said afterwards he had a "very useful discussion" with the House President since he did not have the chance to meet with him and the rest of political party leaders while in the US for the first round of direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    "So, I am now calling on the party leaders to discuss with them the assessment over the outcome of the Troutbeck talks and how they feel the process is going," he said.

    The British High Commissioner said "the important thing is to concentrate on the essence of making progress and not actually to be destructive", noting that another important thing "is to continue the process" that started at the Troutbeck talks.

    A first round of direct talks between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities took place at the secluded Troutbeck rural retreat, near New York, from July 9 to 12, while a second round is scheduled to be held near Geneva, between August 11 and 16.

    With regard to the talks, the British diplomat noted that "so far so good on that side."

    He pointed out "the important thing is to concentrate on the way forward and giving the best possible prospect to the whole process."

    Asked whether Britain's special representative on Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, will be coming back to Cyprus, Madden said "of course he will be coming back to Cyprus but we don't know yet when."

    He said Sir David and himself will be going to Switzerland for the next round of talks.

    Asked to comment on the upcoming visit of Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus and the arrival of Turkish warships in the occupied harbour of Kyrenia, on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the Turkish invasion, Madden said that's "unfortunate", adding "I don't imagine it helps," in the peace process.

    After his meeting with the British High Commissioner, the House President received Jose Cutileiro, the Secretary-General of the Western European Union (WEU), who is visiting Cyprus at the invitation of Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.

    The WEU official met later on with the House Foreign Affairs and Defence Committees.

    CNA AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1345:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Russian official says compromise is key to Cyprus solution

    Nicosia, Jul 18 (CNA) -- No one expects that any UN document will completely satisfy the two communities on Cyprus in direct talks aiming to reunify the island and a solution to the Cyprus problem must derive from compromise on key issues, a top Russian official said.

    "Certainly, no one expects either side to be satisfied 100 percent, because whatever the document or solution, it must come from compromise," Head of the Third Directorate for European Affairs at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Vladimir Tchizhov, said today after an hour-long meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides.

    The Russian representative on the Cyprus problem said he exchanged views with the President on all fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem and the solution process, describing the exchange as "very useful and important".

    After meeting President Clerides, Tchizhov crossed into the Turkish- occupied areas where he met Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. Later on, he had a meeting with Cyprus House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou.

    The Russian official noted that the next steps to be taken on the Cyprus problem will be discussed during the second round of direct talks scheduled to be held between August 11-16, at Montreux, Switzerland.

    Asked to comment on the methodology the UN has introduced in this renewed effort to resolve the Cyprus issue, Tchizhov said this methodology is different from previous ones which he described as "not very successful ones" and expressed the hope this new methodology will be successful.

    "In the past, the UN and successive Secretaries-General, presented documents, noted both sides' observations and then reported to the Security Council that the chasm remains and could not be bridged. Now however, negotiations have begun on specific issues," the Russian official said.

    Tchizhov noted the issue of sovereignty to be a major stumbling block to a solution and that both sides on the island held widely divergent views on the issue.

    However, he did not exclude the possibility that some sort of agreement could be reached on that sticking point.

    "I don't exclude the chance that a solution could be reached on that issue, as well as other issues," the Russian official said.

    Asked to comment on the widely-held impression that active US involvement in the peace process, could deliver the impetus needed to push the two sides to an overall solution, Tchizhov said he does not expect this to happen.

    "I believe, as is the official position of my government, that the whole process must continue to develop within the UN framework because the Secretary-General's mission of good offices on Cyprus has been set by the Security Council," he said.

    Tchizhov said the Russian document outlining seven points on the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem, submitted to the UN Security Council last April, did not meet any negative reactions from anyone.

    "The spirit of the document, I think, is reflected to a certain degree, if not word for word, in all that (UN Secretary-General Special Advisor on Cyprus Diego) Cordovez is doing," the Russian official added.

    CNA MH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1420:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] Euro Socialist leader slams Turkey

    London, Jul 18 (CNA) -- Pauline Green, Leader of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, called Turkish threats to annex the occupied area of Cyprus to Turkey "a bluff".

    In an interview with the London Greek Radio (LGR) today, the British Labour Euro MP said "Turkey has a funny way of trying to make friends and influence people. If they want to get closer to the European Union, this is a very bad way to do it".

    Commenting on Turkish officials' statements that the occupied area of Cyprus will be annexed to Turkey if negotiations begin for the accession of Cyprus to the EU, Green said although Turkey wants closer relations with Europe, it "will not do it by maintaining this belligerent and chauvinist attitude towards Cyprus and particularly towards attempts to find a solution to Cyprus".

    Green pointed out that Turkey believes it "can hold talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem hostage on whether Cyprus joins the EU or not", adding this "is a disgrace".

    She referred to threats that if the European Commission starts negotiations with Cyprus, then Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will not definitely be attending the second round of talks, scheduled for August 11-16 near Geneva, saying that this "is completely unacceptable. It shows the utter hypocrisy of their dealings with Europe".

    Pauline Green said "it is a bluff, anyway, because their best interest has got to be to get closer to the EU and therefore they will not annex the north of Cyprus. I think it is a threat and a bluff and we should frankly call it".

    Asked to comment on the European Parliament resolution on Turkey, Pauline Green said "we made it clear that we expect the new government to be taking a constructive approach, not just passively, but actively supporting a solution to the Cyprus problem and use the fact of Cyprus' application to join the EU as a catalyst to actually solve the problem".

    Referring to the direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides, and Denktash, on the Cyprus issue, the Euro MP said "these talks will not achieve anything, unless they are talks of real substance and they are really serious".

    She pointed out that the negotiators "have got to move on in Geneva to touch the hard problems and discuss the real issues".

    Green reaffirmed her position that "Cyprus will join the EU even if there is no solution", but stressed that "some EU governments already say that unless there is a solution, accession of Cyprus is going to be very difficult".

    The British Euro MP expressed the hope that "the people of Cyprus will be aware of the very staunch support they are getting from the European Parliament and the European Commission", adding that it's 1300-page document "Agenda 2000" talks about negotiations with six countries for the enlargement of the Union, which will include Cyprus.

    Finally, Pauline Green spoke about the annual marches to mark yet another year since the invasion and occupation of part of Cyprus in 1974, stressing that she will be joining the marches.

    She told LGR "we look forward to a massive celebration in Trafalgar Square, when we no longer have to go. Then we will have Cypriots out celebrating in Trafalgar Square and that will be great".

    CNA RG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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